I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all.
Read Chapter 9
Didymus the Blind
Those who believe that human things are guided by providence do not ascribe anything accomplished by humans to their own effort. “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain.” He does not say that no one should build or no one guard the city but that one should remember: if the Lord does not grant success to the effort, both the effort and those who strive for it will be without success. It is up to us to start, but it is up to God to grant success. We start to build the house; God helps and perfects the construction. We guard our own city and are watchful of that decision to guard it, but God preserves it, undestroyed and undefeated by the aggressors. This is also expressed in Proverbs: “Keep your heart with all vigilance.” But even if you yourself keep your heart with all vigilance, say nevertheless to God: “You, Lord, will guard and preserve us.” This thought is also affirmed by Paul, when he says...
All. Thus it appears to the inattentive, and to the wicked. For Solomon frequently inculcates that Providence directs all wisely. Human industry is not always attended with success, Deuteronomy xxix. 19. This is a fresh proof of the vanity of all things. (Calmet)